Southland shaky ahead of key game
A five-wicket haul from Craig Smith and a gritty effort by debutant Jarred McKenzie helped Southland to a first innings points win over Mid-Canterbury in Ashburton at the weekend.
Mid-Canterbury won the toss and bowled first in the southern zone Hawke Cup fixture.
While Southland achieved their target of a 200-plus first innings total by getting through to 224, the number of starts from the batsmen without kicking on frustrated Southland coach Steve Jackson.
Nine of the 11 Southland batsmen made it to double figures with five passing 20 but no-one kicked on to a big total.
Waikoikoi's McKenzie showed plenty of application in his knock of 47 off 122 balls and has done his chances of future selection plenty of good.
"I'm really pleased for young Jared McKenzie on debut, he really applied himself. He grew in confidence out there. We gave him a opportunity and he certainly grabbed it," Jackson said.
As was the case in the first round outright win over North Otago, for Southland it was the bowling unit which had the biggest impact.
Mark Beer led the charge taking a wicket in the first over of Mid- Canterbury's reply and took another in his second over.
Smith then took charge with the ball, slicing through the Mid- Canterbury lineup.
The former Otago Volts player was doubtful heading into the fixture because of a groin injury but declared himself fit to play and went on to make an impressive impact.
He took five for 31 as Mid- Canterbury were bowled out for 130, 96 runs short of Southland's first innings total.
Southland looked set to make Mid-Canterbury follow on when they were 106 for nine but the last wicket partnership of 24 runs quashed those hopes.
Instead Southland had to bat again and they disappointed in the second innings.
They were bowled out for 135 with only Ryan Duffy (42) and Shaun Fitzgibbon (38) contributing anything of note.
Bevan Ravenscroft was the star for Mid-Canterbury taking a remarkable eight for 23.
Despite the poor second innings display, Southland still had an overall lead of 229 for Mid- Canterbury to chase down.
However, rain had the final say as it fell before the home side started their chase and at 3.30pm yesterday play was abandoned.
Southland left with the eight points for a first innings win which sets up a mouth-watering showdown with South Canterbury in Invercargill this weekend with both teams locked at the top of the southern zone Hawke Cup standings.
Jackson was pleased but conceded there was still improvement needed from his players and there would be emphasis on that in the preparation.
"It's not great to be bowled out for 130-odd," he said.
"From here on in for the next month we've got to be out on grass training, we need the ground staff at Queens Park getting good quality grass available for us to train on and obviously we need the weather to be right too."
"I don't think it will hurt that we had a pretty average effort with the bat today because that reminds the guys there is a lot of work to do and they need to make sure they approach their club trainings and rep training a lot more focused."
R Duffy b Polson 14
S Ward c Winter b Ravenscroft 24
H O'Brien c Houston b Wilton 33
S Fitzgibbon b Ravenscroft 13
R Prattley c Southby b Meyrick 17
J Domigan lbw Meyrick 26
J McKenzie b Meyrick 47
C Smith c Houston b Polson 21
M Beer lbw Ravenscroft 14
M Grattan not out 0
J Hodson lbw Meyrick 0
Fall; 30, 56, 90, 109, 113, 158, 196, 224, 224, 224.
Bowling: S Stagg 8-1-33-0, R Polson 14-1-67-2, M Tait 5-0-33-0, B Ravenscroft 12-2-26-3, T Meyrick 19.3-6-49-4, R Wilton 12-5-15-1.
Ward c Print b Stagg 9
Duffy lbw Ravenscroft 42
O'Brien c Winter b Ravenscroft 6
Fitzgibbon c Print b Ravenscroft 38
Prattley c Polson b Ravenscroft 0
Domigan b Ravenscroft 6
McKenzie lbw Meyrick 7
Smith lbw Ravenscroft 0
Beer lbw Ravenscroft 0
Grattan lbw Ravenscroft 0
Hodson not out 4
Total (all out) 135
Fall: 18, 58, 63, 67, 102, 123, 123, 123, 123, 135.
Bowling; S Stagg 5-0-26-1, R Polson 4-32-0, B Ravenscroft 12-4-23-8, T Meyrick 12.4-4-25-1, R Wilton 1-0-9-0.
R Polson lbw Beer 1
J Southby b Beer 0
J Print c O'Brien b Smith 26
J Naish lbw Smith 2
M Winter c & b Smith 6
B Houston c Duffy b Smith 2
M Tait c Ward b Hodson 18
T Meyrick c Beer b Grattan 35
B Ravenscroft not out 20
M Wilton lbw Smith 3
S Stagg c Smith b Beer 4
Total (all out) 130
Fall: 1, 2, 6, 12, 16, 55, 58, 98, 106, 130.
Bowling: M Beer 17-3-29-3, C Smith 15-7-31-5, J Hodson 6-0-17-1, J Domigan 5-1-14-0, M Grattan 4-0-29-1.
The Southland Times